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The CFDA Toasts Fashion's Finest

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Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey.
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Uma Thurman.
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Lazaro Hernandez, Nadja Swarovski, Kate Bosworth, and Jack McCollough.
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"Being up for an award with Ralph and Calvin is like producing an indie for $10,000 and ending up at the Oscars," said Daniel Silver of the menswear label Duckie Brown before the Council of Fashion Designers of America's 25th anniversary awards ceremony got under way last night at the New York Public Library. "You're the Little Miss Sunshine of the CFDAs," kidded his friend and fellow nominee Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry. Almost. Ralph Lauren ended up taking home the Menswear prize to warm applause, along with the first-ever American Fashion Legend Award, presented by another legend, Oprah Winfrey. "I did a tribute to icons at my home and Ralph is the definition of the word," she said before the ceremony. "He's an example that you can achieve your dreams." One way to do that: hard work. "I took a few hours off this afternoon, but that's about it," said Lauren.

The Womenswear nod, in a surprise finish, was shared by Oscar de la Renta, who made one of the evening's most gracious speeches, and the comparative upstarts Proenza Schouler. "That was surreal," said Jack McCollough, one half of the design duo with Lazaro Hernandez, afterward. "We heard Oscar's name and I put on my happy face for him, then we heard ours." Phillip Lim, who edged out his competition, Rodarte and Thakoon, to win the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, was similarly shocked. "I'm elated. I can't wrap my head around it."

But to hear his date, the model Irina Lazareanu, who shone in Lim's strapless white gown, tell it, he had it coming: "He made me exactly what I wanted. Phillip can read girls' minds." If only he could read Pierre Cardin's. The International Award winner made what sounded like a lovely acceptance speech, but it was delivered in a rapid-fire burst of French. Standing offstage, CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg half-seriously urged presenter and Paris resident Marc Jacobs to interpret. Jessie Randall, the Swarovski winner for Accessories, who is just three weeks shy of giving birth, needed no translation: "Thank you so much," she said through tears. "This means so much to me up here with my little twins inside."

See the list of 2007 CFDA Fashion Award Winners >

Click here for photos and coverage of Swarovski's dinner for the 2007 CFDA Award nominees >
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